Heart of Glass - Blenko Glass

Blenko Glass is a West Virginia treasure that spans generations. Nothing symbolizes the state of West Virginia better or more beautifully than Blenko Glass. We will discuss current and former craftsmen and designers and how important it is that Blenko and West Virginia glass be appreciated and valued by the younger generation.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Blenko the People - Charlie Chafin

Charlie Chafin – Gatherer

20+ years at Blenko in August .
Started at Blenko in 1994 at minimum wage ($5/hour) and worked up gradually by 40-50 cents every few months, with extra increases as his job title improved.

Favorite thing about working at Blenko: "Blenko is a family, and the workers are like brothers – they can joke around and get mad at each other, but will always be close and take up for one another. "

Favorite things to make: "Enjoys making big bowls – they make 25 large bowls an hour (compared to 50 small bowls/hr)" so he has more time to rest in between gathering, and can be more accurate.
Charlie also enjoys making the paperweights that are sold in the Visitors Center.

Arlon  Bayliss ( designer) –" He has a great attitude, he is very enthusiastic about the glass making process and makes the workers feel like part of the design team. "


susan said...

Bayliss is quickly becoming my fave also but I wish he would be available sometimes to sign in person.
I don't collect the WV Birhday but may start. Since a dealer found 12 for me at an estate sale.
I do collect Bayliss and buy one of each new item line.
I agree with Charlie Bayliss has fresh ideas and his designs seem to work for me.

Anonymous said...

Mad not made
and your factory dress
is all inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Delicious. More, we want to learn of each and every worker.
My belief is Blenko survives because of these men. Their spirit and their love of one another,the craft and their company.

sweetdoc said...

Great color in the background.

Anonymous said...

what are the little square of color behind the 2 of you?

Anonymous said...


Those squares are the color palette for the antique sheetglass line.

Anonymous said...

My guess is if you have been inside the factory one would know these things. Chitra I am a glass artist and I didn't know with 100% confidence these were glass color samples until Iron chef 's post.
Ironchef are you a glass worker?
Good info to have, also good ? Chitra.

glassbug said...

Others have echoed this same comment but I'll repeat.
These blenko the people remind me blenko is a small family business located in a small Mayberry Town. After each persons history I want to move to Mayberry and work at Blenko.